Castle Rock Vineyards employees protest, asking for higher wages

Posted at 6:31 PM, Jul 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-21 18:41:31-04

Diego Jacuinde has been working for Castle Rock Vineyards for five years.

He said the hours are long, the work is tiresome, and they deserve to make more money.

"Ours starts from 4:30 all the way to 4:30 sometimes longer than that. Sometimes you get home at around 7 at night," he said.

Truck drivers and swampers, those who load boxes full of grapes onto semi trucks, make $10 an hour.

"It's a lot of physical work. You have to get it from the ground, you have to throw it to the guy on top, you have to stack them, and you have to be in a fast paced," said Jacuinde.

Workers claim that on Tuesday, they asked their employer for a $1.50 pay raise but instead got fired the next day.

Today, 12 workers protested, with help from the United Farm Workers, who filed unfair labor practice charges with the Agricultural Labor Relations Board.

"This is an example of workers making fighting for their rights. We're calling on all farm workers to get out there, don't give up, fight on and raise your voices because they also have rights," said Erika Navarette with the UFW.

23ABC reached out to castle rock vineyards who released a statement that said:

"None of the workers involved in this matter have been terminated. Our understanding is that a group of workers voluntarily quit and left work yesterday. However, we are looking into the situation further to make sure there was no misunderstanding."

In the meantime, workers said they will stay on the picket line for as long as they can.

"We're willing to stay here until we can until they say, we'll give your job back and get your raise," said Jacuinde.